I think you all know by now that I cannot bake to save my life. You are either a good cook or a good baker and I have decided to accept that phrase and stick to my side of the fence. A few months ago, I had a student Deola who came for Cooking classes. She is a whiz at baking and decorating and I was practically begging her to either start a baking blog or bake for profit, but she is a mum with a toddler plus a resident doctor in training, so I can understand that she doesn’t have the time. It is not easy to walk away from medical training, although I did and it was the scariest decision of my life, which turned out to be one of the best.
On the day of her last class she said Dunni, I will prove to you, that you too can bake. This is a simple recipe even a child can follow. I looked at her and laughed. I said Deola, trust me, the gods of baking don’t like me at all. Even when I plan to follow a recipe to the letter, the cooking brain part of me feels smart with itself and tries to tweak it. The result = disaster. There must be some sneaky little devil (according to cartoons), which must be sitting atop my head taunting me to not follow the recipe, or even when I do follow the recipe, I think my measurements are always off. Anyways, Deola was kind enough to bring along all the ingredients for the cake including her hand mixer. I watched her make the cake and it was so easy and effortless. I can imagine how it must have felt to her watching me cook. All the things I was discounting as easy and she was disagreeing with me, now the tables had turned. It was a fantastic experience to have two people in one kitchen at opposite ends of the food making scale. A Cook and a Baker. In a few short minutes, she had made the batter and the cake was in the oven. I was just staring at her in amazement. The result was soooooo good, I eat almost half before she left. Did I mention that she also baked me a Lemon Madeira cake? For the next 3 days, all I ate was cake.
Then she said to me, I want you to re-create this yourself one day and to encourage you, I am going to be leaving behind all my tools plus her hand mixer. I have a food processor, but it is such an enormous thing to bring out and clean. She must have sensed it because she said, here’s my hand mixer now you have no excuse. Weeks after, whilst looking for something in the store, I came across her hand mixer and I decided to go buy bananas and wait for it to rotten. Again, the little red devil told me to add milk (instead of orange juice) and peanut butter. I don’t know why I deliberately sabotage my baking. Anyways, the taste was GREAT. The texture not as good as hers. I will be leaving out the milk and peanut butter next time or find a way to incorporate the peanut butter at least and still get the texture that she did, because the peanut butter was absolutely gorgeous in the cake. Hey, bananas and peanut butter are a match made in heaven. The recipe is Dan Lepard’s. Deola’s Baking Hero.
You will need
200g unsalted butter
175g caster sugar
250g plain flour
4 medium eggs
Finely grated zest of an orange and 15ml juice
200g well-mashed banana – I used 2
3 tsp baking powder
Dooney’s Kitchen Tip: if you don’t have the standard baking cups but you do have a weighing scale, click on this link (HERE) to help you work out the grams conversion of all the ingredients listed. Once you are on the site, click on the ingredient you want to convert. e.g. flour, sugar, butter etc
You will need 2 blackened bananas. See below
1. Melt the butter in the microwave. This is what makes this recipe sooooo simple and very quick.
2. Mash the bananas to a pulp with a fork
3. Add the melted butter to the sugar in a pot or mixing bowl and whisk gently till the sugar combines well with the butter.
4. Mix in 100g grams of the flour and whisk until smooth
5. Then add one egg and whisk properly till it combines before you add the next. To save me from myself, I whisked each egg in a separate bowl each time before adding to the batter and then gently combined it. Do the same for the remaining 3.
6. Then add the rest of the ingredients, starting with the mashed banana, orange juice and zest, then sift in the rest of the flour and baking powder. Ignore the pictures below – I used ground nutmeg instead of the zest of an orange, but I am adding the picture to remind you of what to do.
do not use milk please – use orange juice. This picture is just to serve as a reminder of the steps.
here is where I sneakily added peanut butter. hehehehehe. Take your chances if you may.
7. Combine all the ingredients gently, and your batter should look like this. The entire time this was made by hand in a few minutes.
8. Line a bread pan – silicone or metal, whichever you have
pour in the batter carefully and bake at 160C (140C fan-assisted)/320F/gas mark 2½ for a little over an hour.
me being mischievous again, I decided to sprinkle a little brown sugar over the top. This one I got right, I must confess. It gave it a delicious crunch.
When a skewer pulls out with only a few crumbs sticking to it, it’s done.
Voila!!!!! my banana bread/cake.
I took out a few slices and it disappeared in seconds. The texture was a little more crumbly than I expected, but who cares, I loved it. Yes it was likely the milk and peanut butter but I have learnt my lesson now.
I baked this at night, I abandoned my dinner and descended on it with Chocolate chip ice cream Deeeeeeeelicious.
Bake this for Christmas and watch your guests come back with empty plates. This is so easy, in under 20minutes or even less you have the batter in the oven. The easiest cake you will ever make. Trust me.
Terry, our resident So You Think You Can Cook baker has posted a recipe for home-made bread. Many people have tried it out with amazing results, with lots swearing never to buy bread again. I have ordered a metal bread pan and I will try it out myself too. I promise to pinch myself hard if the thought of tweaking his recipe ever comes to mind. That little red devil will not succeed this time around. Hehehehehehe